Membrane protein function is regulated by the cell membrane lipid composition. This video-article details how to form a patch using bilayer patch electrodes, as well as how to use gramicidin channels as reporters of altered membrane properties.
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Ingolfson, H., Kapoor, R., Collingwood, S. A., Sparre Andersen, O. Single Molecule Methods for Monitoring Changes in Bilayer Elastic Properties. J. Vis. Exp. (21), e1032, doi:10.3791/1032 (2008).
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AbstractMembrane protein function is regulated by the cell membrane lipid composition. This regulation is due to a combination of specific lipid-protein interactions and more general lipid bilayer-protein interactions. These interactions are particularly important in pharmacological research, as many current pharmaceuticals on the market can alter the lipid bilayer material properties, which can lead to altered membrane protein function. The formation of gramicidin channels are dependent on conformational changes in gramicidin subunits which are in turn dependent on the properties of the lipid. Hence the gramicidin channel current is a reporter of altered properties of the bilayer due to certain compounds.
Please visit Springer Protocols for more information about preparing artifical bilayers and using gramicidin channels for probing membrane elasticity.
The authors have nothing to disclose.